The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Maweni Squatters Exploited

Squatters of Maweni A village in Mtwapa have called on the government to save them from being extorted by a self-help group. The squatters claim that a committee formed under the name Umoja ni Nguvu self-help group has been collecting money from them since 2002. Maweni A village development chairman Allan Mwapondi claimed that the committee started collecting Sh3,000 and later raised the fee to Sh5,000 from every house.

The money is said to be for the adjudication and subdivision of the plot. "The committee has now raised the fee to Sh10,000 and Sh50,000 for those who had not paid since 2002. We are now living in fear of being evicted by this committee because they have issued a notice to some of us that unless we pay the cash our houses risk being demolished," said Mwapondi.

He further accused the committee for harassing the squatters in the area through eviction notices. However, the self-help group chairman Stephen Mwaganda claimed that the money that had been collected was for the purchasing of the plot and they now want funds for the subdivision.

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